After a multi-million dollar lobbying campaign that unlawfully enlisted top members of the bipartisan U.S. political class, the Obama administration decided that the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MeK), an Islamo-Marxist terror cult notorious for murdering Americans, should no longer be on the State Department’s list of designated terrorist organizations. Experts say the decision paves the way to begin openly showering U.S. taxpayer money on the anti-American outfit in its bid to overthrow the Iranian regime.
The controversial decision to formally "delist" the organization came in the wake of reports charging that the federal government was already arming and training the cult-like Iranian MeK in violation of U.S. terror laws. The purpose of the alleged support, according to multiple sources, was to help wage a proxy war against Iran. Criticism of the administration’s recent decision, however, erupted quickly and forcefully.
Also known as the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran, the MeK was founded in an effort to advance a hybrid system incorporating communism and Islam. It officially landed on the U.S. government’s terror list some 15 years ago for perpetrating numerous terror attacks against civilians and more than a few senior American military personnel. The group was also allied with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, helping him to wage a brutal war against Iran while suppressing dissidents within Iraq.
“The U.S. Department of State took the moral and strategic bankruptcy of America’s Iran policy to a new low,” observed Iran expert Flynt Leverett, a professor at Pennsylvania State University’s School of International Affairs. “Since when did murdering unarmed civilians (and, in some instances, members of their families as well) on public streets in the middle of a heavily populated urban area (Tehran) not meet even the U.S. government’s own professed standard for terrorism?”
Despite federal statutes defining as a felony the provision of any “material support” to designated terrorist organizations, the MeK managed to buy die-hard support from numerous senior U.S. politicians and former officials on both sides of the aisle. Advocates for the terror cult range from neo-conservative terror-war cheerleaders like Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey to liberals like Howard Dean and Gen. James Jones. Former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, ex-CIA and FBI bosses, and many others jumped on the pro-MeK bandwagon, too.
The paid lobbyists for the terror cult unlawfully earned massive sums of money — often tens of thousands of dollars or more. But the administration’s decision, supposedly based on “humanitarian” concerns to get the group’s members out of Iraq, sets a troubling precedent, according to analysts. “The delisting of the MEK, following a well-funded political lobby campaign, creates the dangerous impression that it is possible for terrorist organizations to buy their way off the [terrorism] list,” Mila Johns of the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism was quoted as saying by Wired magazine.
But there is undoubtedly more to the decision to delist the group than the fact that it showered money on former U.S. officials — funds that were probably extracted from American taxpayers at some point. While well-paid shills for the group claim that the MeK has not been engaged in much terrorism recently — at least not against American targets — numerous reports indicate that the cult has been as busy as ever. As recently as 2009, for example, the U.S. State Department warned that “MEK leadership and members across the world maintain the capacity and will to commit terrorist acts in Europe, the Middle East, the United States, Canada and beyond.”
More recently, U.S. officials have even admitted that the murders of Iranian scientists over the past several years were being conducted by the MeK — apparently with support and training from the Obama administration and the Israeli government. Journalist Seymour Hersh with the New Yorker reported that members of the cult were actually receiving training from the U.S. government on American soil, a severe violation of federal law.
However, for now at least, the group’s terror campaign appears to be largely directed at Iran, which is ruled by a regime that both the Western establishment and the MeK hope to depose. So, because the Iranian regime is now the terror cult’s primary target for terrorism — it used to be capitalism, America, and the West, and probably will be again at some point — war-mongering U.S. officials have apparently found an ally.
“When these criminal politicians start speaking about the ‘war against terrorism,’ spit on your television screen, as they are the terrorists,” fumed liberty-minded analyst Daniel McAdams after the decision was made public. “They are wealthy terrorists who steal your tax dollars to send overseas and recoup to lobby in favor of bloody killers of civilians in Iran.”
Experts predict with relative certainty that U.S. taxpayer money will soon begin openly flowing to the Marxist terror cult, too. However, observers argue that collaborating with the dangerous group at all would be a terrible plan — let alone openly arming and funding it to wage a war against a foreign government.
“To limit the damage from its decision, the State Department needs to make it powerfully clear that the United States does not support the MEK,” wrote analyst Jeremiah Goulka, who studied the MeK in Iraq for the RAND Corporation. “The White House should consider making it policy for the government not to fund, employ, or otherwise collaborate with the group. The MEK is not our ally. Its interests are its own, not ours.”
Analysts also said the delisting of the terror cult would be counterproductive on multiple fronts even for goals the Obama administration purports to support. For one, it reinforces Tehran’s narrative that the lawless U.S. government intends to destroy Iran and the Iranian people no matter what — and that it has nothing to do with non-existent nuclear weapons. It also makes war more likely.
Meanwhile, the MeK, unsurprisingly, is widely despised within Iran, partly because it worked with Saddam Hussein to massacre Iranians with American support before the Iraqi tyrant found himself on the U.S. government’s enemy list. The fact that the Obama administration is now seen as openly supportive of the terror cult and may even begin openly funding it soon will decimate the genuine movement for political reform inside Iran as well.
The decision will also allow the Islamo-Marxist group to have an even larger say in U.S. government policy toward Iran as it seeks to overthrow the government and seize the reins of power. Former DNC boss Howard Dean even called for recognizing the mass-murdering cult, which, again, has virtually no support outside of Washington, D.C., as the legitimate government of Iran.
Iranians opposed to the Islamist regime, however, say that would be a terrible idea. “The MEK does not represent the Iranian-American community or the pro-democracy movement in Iran,” noted the National Iranian American Council. “We do not support the use of violence and war to replace Iran’s undemocratic regime that abuses human rights with the MEK’s undemocratic cult that tortures its own members.”
According to analysts, the controversial decision to delist the MeK has also exposed once again the lawless and hypocritical nature of U.S. government policy makers. In recent decades, no matter which political party has been in power, the U.S. government has routinely backed dictators and terrorist groups before turning against them. Critics of the latest example of such outrageous behavior say the MeK’s victory fits into that pattern perfectly.
“This MEK scam more vividly illustrates the rot and corruption at the heart of America’s DC-based political culture than almost any episode I can recall,” observed popular analyst Glenn Greenwald in the U.K. Guardian, adding that the U.S. government often “favors” terrorism despite purporting to oppose it. “The history of the U.S. list of designated terrorist organizations, and its close cousin list of state sponsors of terrorism, is simple: a country or group goes on the list when they use violence to impede U.S. interests, and they are then taken off the list when they start to use exactly the same violence to advance U.S. interests.”
Activists are still hoping that federal terror laws will be applied consistently so former U.S. officials and politicians bought by the MeK can be held accountable for providing “material support” to a designated terrorist organization. Even more important, however, are the consequences of having the U.S. government work with yet another terror group, in this case an anti-American Islamo-Communist cult. The blowback will undoubtedly come back to haunt the world — probably sooner rather than later.
by Alex Newman